A poker tell can be many different things. The concept includes acts, gestures and other characteristics that a player displays when trying to conceal the strength of his hand. When you’re playing online the tells are almost always related to the speed with which a player acts. In Internet poker you have the option to use the “in turn” buttons instead of waiting until it is your turn to act and then click on the desired button. There is a clear difference in speed between these two ways of acting and in some situations that can provide you with very useful information.
Common Online Tells:
- Instant call: When a player calls a bet immediately it’s usually a sign of a weakness. He wants you to believe that he has a stronger hand and is hoping that his quick call will keep you from betting in to him again.
- Delayed check: When it takes a player a long time to check he usually doesn’t want you to bet. He’s trying to display strength in the hope that this will give him a free card.
- Delayed bet: When a player thinks for a long before he bets, he will usually be holding a good hand. He wants you to think he has weak cards in order to make you call or even raise.
- Instant bet/raise on the river (in Texas Hold’em): When a player acts in this way he is normally holding a really strong hand. By raising or betting instantly, he is trying to make you believe he’s bluffing. This play can also be used on the turn and generally, but not as frequently, indicates strength.
- Instant check: When a player in late position uses the “in turn” check/fold button he is normally holding weak cards. It might be a sign that he’s playing at multiple tables and is hoping to save time by using the “in turn” buttons.
- The bet into on the turn (in Texas Hold’em): When a player has checked-called on the flop and then bets out on the turn, it usually means he’s weak. This kind of play probably means that he’s picked up a draw or that they he’s semi-bluffing with a draw he picked up on the flop. In this situation you should strongly consider raising even though you might be bluffing yourself.
- Sound of the Voice – Players wearing hoodies or shades might feel protected from giving away tells, but actually they are not. Often the their voice tells a lot in their hands. Players holding a strong hand have an easier time talking and answering questions. Players that bluff are often scared to give away a tell and sound insecure.